3D printers are all the rage these days. From children’s drawings to a working gun (GASP!), there is practically nothing impossible to print using one of these.
Mick Ebeling, CEO of Not Impossible Labs decided to do something when he read about 14 year old boy Daniel losing his arm in a bomb blast in war torn Sudan. Mick landed in Sudan with a few laptops and 3D printers, with the sole objective of making Daniel a limb.
Daniel was located in a refugee camp in Yida, South Sudan, and was given his first “version 1” limb by Mick. The limb took around $100 in raw materials and the 3d printer was able to print it out in just six hours. For the first time in two years, Daniel was able to feed himself (he had chocolate!). The video below show him doing daily activities like using a touch screen computer and throwing a ball. From what is shown, it looks like adapting to the new limb is fairly quick.
Before leaving Sudan, Mick set up a lab so the locals could print artificial limbs themselves.
Version 1 of the limb does come with some limitations. It cannot be used to lift heavy weights, and to use utensils, additional accessory is required. But still, the levels of independence and confidence they bring to the person wearing them are enormous. Mick has made the project open source so anyone could work on it and keep improving version 1. The vision here is to create a global campaign that helps amputees from around the world achieve independence with a product that is inexpensive yet reliable. Version 1 can help someone get adjusted to artificial limb quickly – If someone needs something more robust, they can perhaps upgrade to other options.